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Questions tagged [short-stories]

For about a fictional work too small to be called a novel - usually less than 10-20 thousand words and no chapters. Only use when identifying a work (use in conjunction with [story-identification] here) or when there is a tag ambiguity. If you are looking for a particular anthology of short stories, use the [anthology-book] tag.

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2
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0answers
32 views

Story from the 40s or 50s with a loft full of boulder like life forms

A guy’s loft is inhabited by hulking giant boulder like objects. He eventually learns they are life forms with an extremely slow almost glacial metabolism. They move only an inch or two in a year.
4
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0answers
53 views

Short story with cave on moon and married couple

I need to identify a short story - I have a feeling it is mid-20th century. A man and wife journey to the moon, I think as tourists. They go for a walk and find a cave, within which there is a ...
5
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1answer
371 views

Short story about a man who imprints his consciousness to a machine

I remember reading a short story about a man who imprints his consciousness to a robot in order to achieve immortality. The robot becomes more and more powerful and survives past the existence of ...
11
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1answer
2k views

Looking for a short science fiction story about a computer defeated by a paradox?

This is a short science fiction story about a computer that is put out of action by being presented with a paradox. The computer runs a space station on a distant planet and is supposedly failsafe. ...
7
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1answer
118 views

Short story where the labour class lives in another timeline to the privileged class

A short story was mentioned to me and we are trying to figure out the name of it. It was apparently written years ago and was hoping to find it. It was apparently a short story based around divided ...
14
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2answers
681 views

Identify a horror sci-fi story where a mad scientist creates grotesque creatures by combining genes from human and animals

Note: I need to start with some introductory information because that might give a clear picture. I am from India. The story which I am mentioning here was translated in a local language (Bengali) of ...
10
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0answers
61 views

Revolution against a caste of glowing religious leaders

This is a coming-of-age story. The future United States is a theocracy run by religious leaders whose bodies are luminescent, literally glow in the dark, and so are considered to be holy. As the ...
6
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0answers
81 views

90s (or earlier) short story involving a process of cellular cleaning that involved temporarily liquifying someone into a swimming pool

I remember two parts of the story in question: the protagonist was temporarily liquefied and expanded enough to fill a swimming pool while his cells underwent some kind of cleaning or surveillance ...
5
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1answer
58 views

Short story about specialization and a poet? [duplicate]

Looking for a short story, potentially by Kurt Vonnegut, about a world in which people's jobs are increasingly specialized which leads to a lack of poets and other artists. At some point there's a ...
5
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2answers
78 views

Early sf short story about a talking storytelling device [duplicate]

In this story there is a toy device that can tell stories. The author manages to portray the impression that the device has some kind of increasing capability to empathise with the listener. In the ...
5
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0answers
80 views

Analog(?) Short Story 2 krakens(?) from different oceans fight. Smaller one helped by humans

Pretty sure it was in an Analog. Mid 80s. World with two big oceans, similar to Atlantic and Pacific. Giant Kraken like creature, too big to travel to the other ocean now. Humanoids in sailing ships ...
7
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0answers
59 views

Story in which different floors of a Mexico City building are different nations

I don't remember much about this one, not even whether it was a short story or a novel, but it had a satirical tone. The protagonist kept getting shunted forward in time, probably by suspended ...
8
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1answer
116 views

Remote space station forced to negotiate with aliens and succeed due to mental quirks

I'm looking for the title of a short story that I would like to offer as suggested reading to my kids. It was in the late 80's early 90s when I first read it. English was the language. It may be ...
11
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1answer
172 views

Author of a story about a group walking down a tube with gates to worlds singing as they go

I read a short story sometime in the late '80s. It was about a group of people walking along a tube that had doorways leading to different worlds or realities. The main focus was on the dynamic of ...
7
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1answer
95 views

SciFi Short Story/Novella where Advanced Aliens are Choosing a Galactic Overseer

My memory on this is a little fuzzy since I thought the story was in one of the Golden Age of anthologies that I have but I can't find it there. I can provide a few more details than in the title. ...
6
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0answers
104 views

Short story about possibly the last humans alive struggling to survive in a spaceship, it ends in a baseball stadium in space

I believe the main characters are a father and son, they and a group of humans are stuck on a spaceship. I don't remember if they are the last humans alive but I do remember there being a sense of ...
7
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2answers
135 views

Lost Short SF Story, Messages from Mars, uniquely shaped coil involved

I read this in an anthology sometime in the 1970's. A chap was winding various coils for his radio receiver. He hears a message from 'Mars'? The story ends when the 'special' coil is crushed by some ...
3
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0answers
69 views

70s(?) kids' short story: spaceship lands, crystal plants/animals, spacesuits slowly cut by glass and they all die

Kids' Short Story: SciFi/Horror. Space ship lands on planet with crystal plants and animals. Upon returning to the ship their space suits are slowly cut/compromised by glass and they all die. Read in ...
7
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1answer
136 views

Short detective story. Criminals are cloned, then killed by the victims of crime for revenge

The story is about a detective talking to different people trying to gather information about a clone. The story deals with clones of a criminal who committed murders, and they make exact clones of ...
5
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0answers
59 views

Short story about new doctors, killers, and ghosts of patients

I am trying to find a short story I read in which a new doctor makes a mistake that kills a patient. Doctor is distraught. Later in the story a killer chases the doctor who goes through a door in an ...
2
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2answers
299 views

Story by Aaron Bernstein about a man going to space at a speed faster than light and looking at the Earth of the past

An episode of G, a miniseries by Radiolab, about Einstein’s brain describes a story by Aaron Bernstein Einstein read in 1905 or earlier that inspired him to think of relativity. It’s not “Eine ...
8
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1answer
226 views

Short story about England right after nuclear war

Read a story back in the 1980s in a sci-fi anthology about England just after a nuclear war. The government was trying to rebuild and everyone was suffering from radiation poisoning. Towards the end a ...
7
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1answer
224 views

Early 20th century magazine story in New England with monsters

Super dark and dreary story like reading Edgar Allen Poe but not a poem, and many strange names. Much of the story around the WWI period (but don't remember hearing about the war in the story). There ...
12
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1answer
208 views

An alien dances with woman on beach at night, then leaves. Years later the alien returns but she is dead, he takes the dog

Most likely published in Asimov's or Fantasy & Science Fiction in the 80's or 90's. The woman lived alone in a cabin in the Northwest, I think, and went down to the beach when she saw the ship ...
9
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0answers
71 views

Short story about a photo restoration specialist who can travel back in time to the day a photo was taken

This was a short story, told in the third person. Written in English. I first read it in a library book, sometime during the 1980s, probably no later than 1986. (I lived in Indiana at the time.) I'm ...
4
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0answers
53 views

Old retired mirror maker commissioned to make a mirror that changes the past

Early 2000's story, about 20 pages maybe in a larger scifi compilation. The stories were donated for a charity - an Asian relief fund. They were from well-published authors. An approaching storm, an ...
9
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1answer
436 views

Looking for this short-story about a lone man's space travel, although details are a bit vague

As I remember it, this short-story was about a man travelling alone through space (our galaxy at least to start). He had his favorite music and books (etc) with him and, I believe, his cat. It was ...
37
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1answer
6k views

A man condemned to serve his sentence in other times

Looking for help to find a science fiction short story about a man send to the past to serve his sentence, and at the end when he is happy, married and successful, his is recaptured by a co-worker who ...
6
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1answer
263 views

Isaac Asimov “robot” short story where a robot owner talks about how his robot would know where he commonly leaves his glasses

When I was a kid, I read an Asimov short story in which two men were talking about one's newly-acquired robot. The robot owner was telling the other fellow about how he could tell the robot to find ...
7
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0answers
92 views

Sci-Fi Short Story: Officer Fakes Going Over To Aliens, Advises Atrocities, Fakes Death to Galvanize Humans to Fight [duplicate]

It was a story where the world's military was soft, privates would all become generals, etc. He 'went over' to the alien enemy side to advise them. Told aliens a mass hanging would break resistance, ...
6
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0answers
93 views

70s (or earlier) fantasy-horror short story “Through the Looking Glass”

I know I read it more than 40 years ago, in some collection of fantasy (and maybe also SF), but whether in English or French translation, I am not sure. It was certainly not a french original. The "...
14
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2answers
294 views

Story in which the Earth's oxygen level is reduced so an Andean tribe can take over

The story might have been in a collection of short stories or I read an excerpt of it. I read it in the 80s time frame. Possibly in Analog. The idea of the story was that group of indigenous Andean (...
8
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2answers
178 views

70s (or earlier) story on a planet where a local sentient species has seven distinct sexes

I read this story more than 40 years ago. Actually I read it in French, but it was almost certainly translated from english. I remember very little. It was possibly short fiction but maybe even a ...
19
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1answer
2k views

Short story about aliens who tried using the common cold as a weapon

Around 1989, I read a short story, pretty sure it was in Analog, about a human who chats up an alien at some extraterrestrial bar. The alien tells him that his species tried to eradicate humans with a ...
7
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1answer
75 views

Science fiction short story about lost group of mechanics [duplicate]

The main character lives on a sparsely populated world, where everyone goes to school to become mechanics, only they have lost the knowledge of why they are learning, so they are all skilled at ...
3
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1answer
145 views

Short story involving man who finds people waiting around a boxcar

This is a short story that became an episode of The Twilight Zone. The man finds people waiting around a boxcar. He enters the box car, changes his mind, jumps off, then the door closes. He can’t get ...
9
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1answer
238 views

Short story, last man in perfectly split Earth-wide vote

There was an American sci-fi short story, where there was an Earth-wide swing voting on something. It went with perfect equilibrium until the very end. And there was one single man left who did not ...
5
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0answers
82 views

Short Story about stomach possession by a demon

I read a short story in the late 70's about a hungry man watching people eating at an inn and begins to reflect on his lifes misfortunes. He then encounters a stranger who offers him a lifetime of ...
8
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2answers
515 views

Short story with a first person narrator in a future where racial conflict had exploded into an all out war

Years ago, I read a story with a first person narrator that dealt with a future in which racial conflict had exploded into an all out war. At the end of the story the identity of the narrator is ...
13
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5answers
3k views

Sci-fi story about aliens with cells based on arsenic or nitrogen, poisoned by oxygen

I'm looking for a science-fiction short story, probably written by either Isaac Asimov or Poul Anderson. (I was binging on short stories collections from these two authors around the same time, 5 to ...
6
votes
1answer
159 views

Short story in which protagonist has to go to where the last human on Earth dies to get back to the present

I read this story in one of the many anthologies I've had over the years but can't find it. The protagonist is a scientist. Something goes wrong with an experiment and he starts skipping forward ...
9
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1answer
117 views

Short story anthology, one story was about a warship being prepared and sent on a bombing run [duplicate]

I recall that, as a child, I purchased a science fiction anthology of short stories in British Home Stores (BHS) sometime in the mid 1980s. It had a reddish-orange cover with white writing and drawn ...
44
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1answer
4k views

Short story about a potato hotel that makes its guests into potatoes throughout the night

A man travels to another state to visit some agricultural museum. Upon arrival it is quite late so he ends up at an old family owned inn. While looking around, it seems quite decent and he decides to ...
12
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1answer
297 views

Older story about a sex worker on a spaceship

I'm trying to find an older (either late 70s or early 80s) science fiction story about a woman who was a sex worker on a long distance spaceship. I remember one line where she described a typical work ...
5
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1answer
165 views

Short story: alien world inside a planet, exploration is discouraged

This was a story read on freesfonline at some point... A group of beings exists in the hollowed center of a planet, the space being their known Universe. Generations go on, with technological ...
10
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0answers
1k views

90s (or earlier) short story: girls kidnapped and married to aliens, cry upon visiting Earth again because they miss the perfect aliens' kingdom

I'm looking for a short story I read in high school (1995-1999). I don't remember the title or the author. It was in a book of science fiction short stories. I have tried to find it online, and spoke ...
5
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0answers
267 views

Short fiction where America is at war with Canada

I'm looking for an short-fiction alternate-history book collection where different groups are at war with each other for different reasons. It was probably made during the 1980s or 1990s. In one of ...
23
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1answer
4k views

A dictator tries to escape war by suspended animation, but travels too long, killed by maroonee [duplicate]

Anthology story sought. A warlord, the Master? tries to escape capture by suspended animation, but last incoming rocket salvo seals his cave in mountains. Stays suspended for far longer than thought, ...
5
votes
1answer
171 views

Story about astronauts crashing on a planet inhabited by robots [duplicate]

I read this SF story somewhere in 2000s. I believe it was in English but might have been a translation from the original work. It might have been a short story or a novella. The story's core premise ...
7
votes
1answer
149 views

SF story about crocodiles being dragons [duplicate]

Decades ago I read a short story about a scientist who had a theory that crocodiles were dragons, but stuck in the pre-flight, pre-flame stage. He experimented, and finally produced a method of ...